Just like taking our morning vitamins, or going for that early morning run, we need to look after our mental health too.
Yet mental health seems to be viewed as invisible to the majority of the population. This leads to many problems arising which can affect your daily living circumstances. This can be even more difficult for vulnerable people who face homelessness.
Mental health consists of three main factors: our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. This means our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act in all aspects of our life.
Mental health is something that everyone needs to look after as it determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. We must remember that mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood.
Having poor mental health can vary in symptoms and can be caused by many different types of illness. It can include issues such as anxiety, addiction and wellbeing which means you often struggle to concentrate on the day ahead of you.
These issues have no quick fix and should not be normalised. If you try to ignore an issue that you’re experiencing, you’ll only allow it to grow. You can get help though.
You can receive help by contacting your local GP, who will be able to provide good medical advice on how to treat any issues you are facing. This is the best course of action as they are able to provide a medical opinion of your symptoms and, if necessary, courses of action and medication to ease your issues.
If this is something you feel uncomfortable doing, why not try talking to a friend or family member? Not everyone feels relaxed talking to a doctor which often deters them from seeking help. There are other options available however and you should not feel like you are alone.
By talking to someone you trust, you can often halve many problems that seem too big to consider on your own. Talking is very therapeutic too, and allows the weight of many mental health issues to be lightened.
Family and friends could also be able to share different viewpoints on situations that you may be too overwhelmed by. They can offer advice that leads you to the help you need.
They provide a variety of information and methods that helps you to look after your mental health and well-being.
At the Project many of the people who use our service find themselves suffering from poor mental health.
Martin was a repeat offender in and out of prison whilst suffering with depression. He also suffered with drug and alcohol addiction which led to him having a very negative view of how he should use his time and his ideas about himself. This often led him to be homeless.
He believed the world would be better if he were dead and that nobody would miss him.
He became a volunteer and over a five-year period of many ups and downs he tackled his drug and alcohol use.
Most significantly he started to respect others and realised he had skills and ability. Life isn’t better yet but he is still working to make it better.
We help homeless people achieve a happy and fulfilling life by supporting them to develop their independence and improve their ability to tackle setbacks. This in turn encourages users of the Project to break free of negative behaviour and habits.
At the Project, we offer activities and 1-1 support that ensures homeless and vulnerable adults have the skills they need to transition from sleeping bag to fulfilling lives. We offer a wide variety of activities ranging from Maths and English, to theatre trips and lantern making. (Read our blog to find out more)
We also provide activities specifically aimed at supporting mental health and wellbeing. We have run a selection of events such as Tai Chi, weekly knitting groups, running groups and yoga sessions.
By attending these activities, we can help homeless and vulnerable adults conquer many issues relating to stress and addiction that mean they often fall back in to the vicious cycle of homelessness.
Many people that come to use the Project are often facing complex needs as well as dealing with the extremities that come with homelessness. We provide them with a safe and friendly environment to acknowledge and face those needs.
We also offer people in need the chance to become accustomed to a working environment again. We provide support, especially with mental health and wellbeing, to ensure they gain work experience and skills. This is done through our Just Works and Printed By Us programmes, where homeless and vulnerable people are employed by the two social enterprises.
So our activities are not just a fun and exciting way to spend some time, but also a way for homeless and vulnerable adults to receive the support and care they need to look after their mental health and wellbeing.